China's society is at a crossroads, and its leaders know it. That's why "social management" was the focus of three, top-level meetings over the past eight months: a Politburo study session last September; a symposium in February for leading cadres from provincial governments and ministries; and a May 30 Politburo meeting on strengthening and promoting innovation in governance.
These meetings reflect the seriousness with which the nation's leaders are confronting the challenge of rising social tension. They've also acknowledged the many problems in governance, both in theory and practice, that contribute to the stress in Chinese society.
The social contradictions in today's China are undoubtedly a threat to social stability. But acknowledging these contradictions can be a first step toward necessary change, and then government leaders can begin laying down principles.
To that end, we fully agree with the Politburo which once declared that the rule of law is the foundation of governance.
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